Sector 1 Gets a New Regional Tracking Center

Sector 1, covering the area of the Far South Pacific, Indonesia and East Asia, will have a new regional tracking center located this year on Christmas Island. This is a territory of Australia.

A contract was signed and engineers have already been dispatched from the North Pole to begin construction. It is anticipated that the facility will be complete and staffed by the 17th of December.

Sector 1 covers the countries of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Singapore, Papua New Guinea, the Marshall Islands, the Soloman Islands, Guam, and Wake Island. This broad area is one of the largest Santa visits and the weather is typically warm and balmy.

Elf Randi Hume is the Elf Supervisor for Sector 1.

“We have enjoyed having the regional tracking center in a number of places in Sector 1 over the years,” Elf Randi said. “But we look forward to being on beautiful Christmas Island and we feel this location will be ideal.”

Additional announcements of new locations for other Regional Tracking Centers in other sectors are forthcoming.

Thanksgiving is Recruiting Season

Tracker UpdateGreetings, friends! Thanksgiving is upon us and that’s an important time for Santa trackers. It is a time to recruit.

As you meet with family and friends over the coming couple of days we remind you that we still need more elves. It’s going well, we now have more than 36 million elves tracking Santa for Santa this year. That’s better than last year but still short of our goal of 40 million.

Thanksgiving is naturally a good time to talk to people, young and old, about becoming elves.

This Thanksgiving is a little unusual because many are meeting “virtually” instead of in person. That’s actually a better opportunity for recruiting elves. Because there are not as many people getting together than means more people will be spending time online and if they’re online they might as well come here and sign-up, right?

Don’t be afraid to talk. Santa needs help in EVERY neighborhood.

I’m pretty sure we are on track to reach our goal before Christmas. There is always a surge of elves who sign on at the last minute. But if we can recruit a bunch this weekend we have time to get them trained before Christmas.

So do what you can!

PS – you might want to check in now and then this weekend. I heard a rumor they will be making some big announcements.

 

Elf Training #18 – Holidays

Elf TrainingYou thought I forgot about Elf Training #18, right?

I did not forget! I had to get it approved before I could post it. Can you believe that?

The reason is because our topic today is holidays. And it is a very serious one for all elves. Holidays are a serious big deal at the North Pole and, as elves, we need to treat them seriously.

For example, do you know what Santa’s favorite holiday is? It’s Thanksgiving.

Did you know that? I didn’t know that before I became an elf. It is very important information to know. You’d think Christmas would be Santa’s favorite holiday and he loves it. But it’s not at the top of the list.

Well, if he is the Head Elf and he likes Thanksgiving then I think the rest of us elves who are trying to be the best elves we can be should try to understand that — and all holidays.

Celebrating holidays is important. We need to look at the special days on the calendar to not only learn new things but also to connect and re-connect with people we love. Holidays in a way teach us to have purpose in our lives.

Christmas, of course, is what we focus on. As elves, we do it to serve other people and Santa. That’s a good thing.

Every holiday has good things behind it.

You’ll be reading at SantaUpdate.com this week a lot of news about Thanksgiving and how elves there are celebrating. Use your reading to learn and to think about the holidays you experience.

Does that mean you should celebrate Thanksgiving if you live in a country where Thanksgiving isn’t observed?

Well, here’s the deal with that: you do not have to eat turkey or march in an Elf Parade to celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s not about stuff like that. But it is about being grateful and showing gratitude in all you do on that day.

That is why Thanksgiving is, after all, Santa’s favorite. It is what Thanksgiving is all about that is most important. You might want to look for ways to do that.

Holidays are also different days. We don’t work on holidays. Santa calls play time as important as work time, especially for elves. Holidays are play time. Make sure you take time off on holidays.

Being with your family is also important on these days. It does not matter what you do or what you eat on those days — but just be with your families while you are doing it.

36 million elves now!!! It is an exciting week for those of us in the elf business. Stay tuned for more news this week.

Elf Training #19 – A Landing Zone for Santa

Elf TrainingHi ho, Trackers!

Today’s topic in Elf Training is a fun one. It’s something that comes up every year – building a landing zone for Santa.

Kids do this all over the world. Some are good at it and some need more practice.

But tracker elves usually pay attention to this because they have to think about Santa as part of their job as an elf. You’ll be sending in weather reports and roof reports and doing chimney inspections and other stuff that will cause you to really, really think about how Santa lands at YOUR house, and how much space he needs, and what the reindeer might experience and how a big sleigh like that fits or doesn’t fit on your house.

It’s only natural for a professional tracker elf like you to worry about this stuff.

For many, the need to actually mark out a spot for Santa to land and park so he can deliver to your house or to the houses around you is something to think about. Some see it as a helpful project to work on in the days before Christmas.

First of all, you should know that Santa really appreciates it. He does. He can and most often lands without any kind of marking on a house or a lot because he’s been doing it for years and has the best equipment in the world to do it. But when someone goes to the trouble to actually mark out a place for him to park the sleigh, well, he really appreciates it.

So, if you’re going to do this, Santa just wants you to follow some simple rules:

  1. Ask your parents or whoever own the property before you do anything.
  2. Be safe. Don’t climb ladders, dig holes or engage in other dangerous stuff to do this.
  3. If you want to place lights and stuff, that’s fine, but be mindful of the neighbors. Bright lights could disturb them.
  4. The sleigh is bigger than you think. And with 9 reindeer pulling it, the whole thing is about three times as long as a typical school bus. Landing something that big takes a LOT of space.
  5. Leaving food and water out for the reindeer is more important than marking a spot for Santa to park.
  6. It’s okay if your landing zone gets covered in snow.
  7. No need to put up signs. Santa can figure it out.
  8. Never go into a chimney. In fact, Santa only uses a chimney as a last resort. But he also has certification and special tools to do it. Don’t ever try it yourself.
  9. Don’t put a landing zone on the roof.
  10. If you’re going to do this, get someone to help. It’ll be more fun that way.

And remember, Santa does NOT require a landing zone at all. He’s been to your house before without one and can do it again. But if you follow all the rules above, Santa doesn’t mind that you do it.

You are an elf. And he trusts you.

 

Elf Training #17 – Stocking Mail

Elf TrainingHello trackers!

The subject of today’s training is Stocking Mail. Have you heard of it or used it yet?

Stocking Mail is usually activated by the North Pole in the last couple of days before Christmas. It is an emergency courier service between your Christmas stocking and the North Pole Post Office.

Regular mail service in many countries can get bogged down around Christmas. If there needs to be communication between someone and the North Pole, stocking mail is activated to keep messages flowing.

Thanks to electronic mail and text messaging, stocking mail is not used as much as in Christmases past. But it is still used and tracker elves should be aware of it.

How does it work? If you write a note and put it in your stocking after stocking mail has been activated the North Pole Post Office can retrieve it.  How do they do that? Well, that I can’t share with you (I’m not sure I understand it anyway). It’s very high tech. All I know is that it works.

But it only works after it is activated.

If it works so well, why isn’t it used all the time?

I’ll be honest with you. If it were used all the time people would abuse it. They would try to put more in their stocking than stocking mail is intended for. Stocking mail is for messages and messages that are only written on paper. If other things were put into the stocking while activated some not-so-good things would happen.

Stocking mail was invented long before my time by the Research and Development Department. The stories of testing the technology are legendary. They get talked about all the time, far more than other technology the North Pole has developed. The testing process for mail was not controlled. Elves kind of got carried away with putting things into stockings that were activated just to see what would happen.

They sent all kinds of stuff without looking into the stuff when it went through stocking mail. At first it was small stuff, like cookies or sunglasses. But then they got carried away and tried putting in things like Christmas trees or large toys. It seemed at first like the technology was flawless and that it might even revolution the idea of Christmas Santa deliveries. I mean, why would Santa need to load his sleigh, drag out his reindeer and travel all around the world in a rush on Christmas Eve if anything could be sent by stocking mail, right?

But then they started to notice weird things. The cookies sent by stocking mail didn’t taste right. The sunglasses kind of fell apart. One time they sent a baseball bat by stocking mail and it turned into a pile of toothpicks. Then, one day – real tragedy. They put an elf into stocking mail.

It wasn’t pretty, let me tell you.

Santa decided it was dangerous technology and he vowed never to let the world have it. It was shelved for many years. Then a brilliant elf named Darwin invented a new kind of filter that controlled stocking mail better. The filter, which has some sort of weird name that I cannot remember, causes stockings to only accept paper-based things for transmissions. So if someone put a doll into an activated stocking nothing would happen.

They tested it for years and finally, after a Christmas of tough weather where a lot of last minute messages could not get through to Santa, he finally allowed for stocking mail to be used.

For years now we have used stocking mail at the last minute. So far it has only been used for just normal folks. Tracker Elves have never really had a need or a reason to use it.

So why do we include it in the training?

Well, what IF something happened and you could not communicate with the North Pole? What if you, as a tracker elf, needed to get something through that would help Santa?

That’s why you know about it. Stocking mail FOR YOU is automatically activated in you hang your stocking in your home tracking center on December 23rd. Don’t use it unless we instruct you to. But we want it ready, as a back up. You never know what could happen.

 

Elf Training #16 – Feeding Reindeer

Elf TrainingGreetings tracker friends!

It’s 50 days TODAY until Santa launches! And can you see how many new elves we’re getting?

Psst! Here’s a news flash for you: that counter of the tracker elves we have is a little off. I have it on good authority that we’re now past 33 million — and that news will be announced later.

Let’s talk reindeer and your role with them.

What? You didn’t think you have anything to do with the reindeer?

Think again, elf.

Santa’s reindeer are a huge part of Santa’s success. In fact, he can’t be Santa without them.

So he is careful that they get good care.

It is a tradition in most parts of the world to leave cookies and milk out for Santa — and a little something for the reindeer too.

Usually that little something is carrots or celery. And that stuff is just fine, but often a little boring for them.

Sometimes well meaning families will leave out candy canes or other sweet treats for the reindeer. This is nice but not very good for the reindeer. In fact, candy canes make them sick and Santa tries to keep candy canes and chocolate away from the reindeer. It is not good for them at all.

Later this season on Santa Update I believe Mrs. Claus is going to leave some instruction out for people who want to feed the reindeer. She has a special recipe for people to follow.

But we know not many people will remember to use it.

That’s where Tracker Elves come to the rescue.

Santa is asking, officially, for tracker elves to please prepare two simple things for the reindeer before they go to bed on Christmas Eve.

The first is water. Simple enough. Not many people remember to leave out water for the reindeer. The reindeer NEED water.

The second thing is dried oatmeal. The Reindeer love oatmeal. And it gives them fuel.

If trackers elves can remember to do this, Santa doesn’t need to worry about keeping the reindeer going and he doesn’t have to haul water and oatmeal with him on the sleigh.

Questions?

Ask below.

 

 

Finding and Helping New Elves

Ok, kids! Listen up. Max here. How are ya?

We are entering a new phase in the build-up to 40 million new tracker elves for Tracking Santa this year.

Elf Roger told me this was how it was going to happen. He said things would be very quiet for several months. He said the tracker elves we get signed up between July and October are usually the best tracker elves we get all year. And he’s right. You guys have been great!

Roger said that right around Halloween and just after we would see a burst of new activity. He said we’ll get a nice bump in the numbers and that people might get excited. Then he said it will die down a little bit and then, over Thanksgiving weekend, we’ll see another burst of new elves. Finally, things appear busier and then it just goes nuts right around the 17th or 18th of December.

Well, so far, he’s right.

Today has not been a normal Friday. We have had a lot more new elves come on board compared to last Friday. And this week overall has seen more join than last week.

So it’s happening.

We are worried just as much about the quality of our new elves as we are the quantity of them. You can help by welcoming new people you see in the comment areas of posts like this one and answering their questions.

You can help a lot more by recruiting your family and friends to become elves. If you are on social media, you can post links to this site and the other sites of the North Pole.

We welcome late sign-ups, of course, but we feel it is best that everyone get on board now so they can get trained on how to be the best elf they can and help Santa get around the world this year.

Let’s be ready for the numbers of folks coming on.

Thanks!

 

Elf Training #15 – SantaTrackers.net Rules

Elf TrainingGreetings, friends!

Another week is upon us and we’ve got some things to discuss. As we get past Halloween in a few days you may notice some great activity on our merry little website. This seems to happen every year.

As more new elves come to the site it is a good time to remind all of some simple rules we have on the website. By and large, Santa treats all of his elves with great respect by NOT having a lot of rules. He believes a good elf will know the rules and keep them on his or her own without having to be told to keep them.

While this site belongs to and is for official elves it is possible the public can get on here and see things. So representing Santa, Christmas and the North Pole well always means being on our best behavior. What does that mean?

It means being kind, thoughtful of others and wanting to be of service in any way possible.

All of us as elves come from different parts of the world. We speak different languages. We have different customs. It is easy for misunderstandings to happen. We try hard to avoid that if we can. But if it happens the rule is always the same: just be nice!

As for using the website we provide a number of ways for you to comment, ask questions, and to find out what is going on. Again, the rules with this are simple: just be nice.

Is it possible to get in trouble?

Yes, it’s possible. But it does not happen very frequently. If someone should get out of line in some way, what do you think we are going to do? We’re are going to just be nice. We have found that when we treat a trouble maker nicely they stop being a trouble maker.

Every once in a while, very rarely, we have had to kick someone off the site, to take away their Elf license and to ban them from tracking Santa for Santa. We try very hard never to do that.

We find that if we ask nicely most elves will conform to the rules and will serve the elf community politely.

Part of “just be nice” means never being mean. It means never using foul language. It means never being a bully. It means treating others with respect. It means doing your best in all things to be nice to other people.

One last thing to remember: as an elf, especially in those last crazy days before Christmas, it is easy to want to do your elf work all the time. It’s fun. We understand that. But Santa also knows you have a family and that at different times you will be needed more as a family member than as an elf. We give you all kinds of tools to keep you informed of the situation at the North Pole and with Santa’s flight. But if you have to take time away to be with your family Santa reminds you to do it. Your family is more important than your elf work.

Those are the rules.

Got any questions?

Elf Training #14 – The Map

Elf TrainingHello Elves,

There is no more common element of tracking Santa than the Map. It is the one thing everyone here at the North Pole watches all the time.

You would not believe the work that goes into getting the map, either.

Of course, there is technology. Those are not just regular sleigh bells you see on the sleigh — those are sensors. Yes, built into the bell, beyond the beautiful and shiny gold of the bell, are tiny sophisticated pieces of electronics. They provide measurements such as air temperature, relative wind speed, altitude measurements and, of course, speed metrics of the sleigh itself.

They also contain GPS technology — tiny encrypted bits of computer code in silicon that tell us where Santa’s sleigh is. There are similar sensors on the reindeer harnesses and in Santa’s suit.

But beyond the technology are elves — lots of elves. They sit in what we call the map room at the North Pole. Using their computers and devices they evaluate the data and keep the map up and current.

In order to become a map room elf you have to be quite the geek. You have to know computers. You have to go to school for a long time to become educated in science, weather, computers and, of course, geography.

Why do you think so much time, effort and technology is put into Santa’s map?

Well, what would we do if something happened to Santa? What if he got lost? What if there was some sort of accident?

These are the reasons — serious reasons — why so much goes into the map.

But Santa still wants people to be able to use the map in tracking him every Christmas. He likes that people keep track of him. He thinks it is fun. And he thinks it is educational for the kids, too. It teaches them geography and builds interest in all kinds of things. Santa say nothing but good can come from the map.

Right now, you can only see the official North Pole version of the map at NorthPoleFlightCommand.com — click here. However, once Santa launches from the North Pole the map will be on every official North Pole website (including this one) as well as other authorized websites out there.

The map shows not only the current position of Santa’s sleigh. It shows where he has been as well. Right now, it’s tracking the test flights of Santa’s sleigh. It has a special marker for the current position and it leaves a little Christmas tree icon for places it has visited.

When Santa flies, you see a Santa for the current position and a little present icon for where he has been to. Kinda cool.

Santa likes to keep it simple when it comes to his map.

Elf Training #13 – The Red Zone

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Elf Training #13 - The Red Zone
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Elf TrainingGreetings, Elves!

Today’s training is all about the Red Zone.

The world never stops spinning. Time marches on. When one part of the world awakens to a new day, the other part of the world is heading into the darkness of night.

Come Christmas we mark this passage of time when each sector enters what we call the Red Zone.

The Red Zone is when a sector enters into the day of Christmas Eve. The Red Zone runs from midnight local time of Christmas Eve morning until Santa calls for bedtime on Christmas Eve night.

The Red Zone is kind of like a rallying cry for Santa Tracker Elves. It’s when we get to do the real work we sign up to do — tracking Santa for Santa. Here is a North Pole Radio report from last Christmas explaining it:

What are you going to be doing when you get in the Red Zone? Here is a summary:

  1. Your eyes will be on THIS website right here. It will be right here where your supervisor will post instruction from Flight Command of what is needed to help Santa. Click here to see what that kind of post looks like. 
  2. You’ll be watching The Map, which will be available on all official North Pole websites.
  3. You’ll be following the North Pole News.
  4. You’ll be watching developments of Santa’s flight at North Pole Flight Command.
  5. You’ll be listening to Santa Tracker Radio, also right here on this website.
  6. You’ll be the local North Pole agent to those people around you in your home, your neighborhood and on social media.

We would remind you that while being in the Red Zone you will have to juggle your duties as an elf with the activities of your family. Santa wants you to remember that YOUR FAMILY COMES FIRST.

The beauty of Santa having 40 million plus tracker elves this year means that the work is spread around. Lots of other elves in your sector will be working the Red Zone as you will be. If you cannot respond to a call to action at a certain time — don’t worry about it. Others will pick you up!

Questions? Feel free to ask them below.

 

Elf Training #12 – Coming to the North Pole

Elf TrainingIt is the wish of nearly every new elf to come to the North Pole. It is a dream of everyone I know. In this training post we talk about this and to do it I need to tell you a little about my story.

Like most of you, I began my elf career as a Santa Tracker. I did it for myself starting when I was about six and then, a few years later, I became a tracker elf tracking Santa for Santa, just like most of you.

I was just a kid, living in Winnipeg with my family, going to school and doing the normal stuff all people do. I loved Santa and Christmas. I used to lay awake at night dreaming of going to the North Pole. I wanted to ride in a sleigh with Santa. I wanted to see the reindeer fly. I wanted to meet the elves. I wanted to see Santa’s workshop. I wanted to go and live at the North Pole.

None of that happened for me. Every year, year after year, I tracked Santa. I sent in my reports on Christmas Eve, like a good tracker elf should. I hung my stocking, put up my tree and I wrote letters to Santa — begging him to take me to the North Pole.

I never heard a word back. That made me really sad. Santa was good to me every Christmas. We had fun. I enjoyed all the things I was doing as a tracker elf. But my dream of going to the North Pole just never happened. And each year, because of that, I felt my dreams of North Pole life slipping away.

As a teenager I got involved in other stuff besides school. I played hockey. For a while I played in the band at school (drums). I got a job during the summer helping to pour concrete for new houses. After high school, I worked a construction job for 8 months to make money so I could go to college.

All this time I stayed working as a tracker elf for Santa.

Then I stopped. I don’t know why I stopped, really. I just stopped doing it. I was in college, working a lot at my job. I was a busy guy.

For two Christmases I didn’t do any Santa tracking. I was away from home. Lonely. I was working very hard, trying to become an expert about computers.

The third Christmas of college I went back home. When I got there and smelled all the stuff my mom was making and saw the tree in our house I realized how much I missed Christmas. I realized how much I missed tracking Santa.

My room was just the same as when I was a kid. Mom didn’t move a thing. I flipped on my very old computer — which still worked — and looked up SantaUpdate.com. I could not believe what I saw. In my time away they had changed so many things. Tracking Santa was different than before. I was so excited to see what it had become.

But I felt I had blown it. I walked away from my job as a tracker elf. I didn’t even tell anyone I was going. I just disappeared.

I felt horrible. I didn’t think Santa would want me to track Santa for him again.

I wrote him a note and told him I was sorry. I told him what I had been doing in school. I told him how busy I was. But I told him I still wanted to be an elf and I still wanted to go to the North Pole.

Santa didn’t answer my letter. But an elf did.

I won’t tell you his name, because you know who he is. He’s kind of an important elf these days. But he wasn’t at the time.

Anyway, he told me to just start tracking Santa again as best I could. He said that Santa understood why I was gone, he knew I was a good kid, and he felt that my education was important. The North Pole was so supportive of everything I was doing.

I thanked him and told him how cool I thought the changes were that I saw. I told him that I could help with the website at SantaUpdate.com because I was learning about it in school. I told him some ideas I had about tracking Santa.

Even after that Christmas was over and I went back to school I continued to share with my elf friend all the stuff that was in my head about tracking Santa.

He said I had good ideas. He talked to another elf in charge, who talked to another elf, who talked to another elf, about all my ideas. Then one day, in the summer before my last year of college, I got this message from my elf friend inviting me to help build a new website for the North Pole. This site — SantaTrackers.net.

It took us a couple of years to get it going. By this time I was done with school and working a job in San Francisco.

But I kept working on the website. My tracking career continued, too. To this day I still track Santa as a tracker elf every Christmas Eve. Santa needs help everywhere.

I changed jobs and moved back to Canada where I am now. I work now almost every day of the year on this website. The North Pole hired me. I’m a bigger elf now than I really ever thought I would become.

But Santa continues to instruct me. I get training. I take classes all the time.

None of it is at the North Pole. I’ve never been to the North Pole. I’ve never seen a flying reindeer.

I still want to go.

The difference between now and when I was younger is that now I really believe it is going to happen someday.

I know a lot of elves now. It took a long time to get in with that crowd but as I showed Santa more and more that I was serious about making a bigger contribution I was able to meet more elves and see what they do. I also got to learn their stories.

Every single elf I have met so far came from somewhere far away from the North Pole. Not a one of them I have met were born there or have family there. They all went to the North Pole after living somewhere else most of their lives.

That gives me hope that someday I will get the call to ride in the sleigh and make the trip to the North Pole.

I have learned that I don’t want to work in Santa’s workshop. I did when I was younger. But I don’t any more. I like what I do and I want to do it forever for Santa. I love computers and the Internet. This is what I do — I just want to do it for Santa.

A long time ago, in a training meeting for elves, I asked what they call THE BIG QUESTION: What do I have to do to become an elf who works at the North Pole?

That’s the question, they say, every real elf asks.

The answer they told me is this: just believe.

If we keep our heads down as elves, and work as hard as we can for Santa, believing the entire time in what he does in helping other people and spreading Christmas cheer, someday it could happen.

Then I met Elf Ed Zachary. Cool dude. Really an old, old elf. Some think he is a little mean, maybe a bit grumpy. But the dude is a legend in the elf community. I asked him THE BIG QUESTION.

You know what he told me. He told me he was 114 years old before he got to ride in the sleigh and go to the North Pole.

He said, no matter what, to always believe. If you believe, it will happen.

Well, guys, I believe. I don’t worry about it much any more. I just get up every day and do my best to be a good elf. Someday will happen someday.

Santa knows what I want. And I believe.

That’s all you gotta do.

Elf Training #11 – Kringle Radio

Elf TrainingHi Elves,

With our latest news post has come a lot of questions about North Pole radio. I hope this sorts it out.

The main radio station at the North Pole is called Kringle Radio. It actually plays year round. Mostly just Christmas music and news from the North Pole Radio news team.

In the past few years we have played around with a special radio station just for you guys. It plays only right here on SantaTrackers.net. That’s coming back, as the news post said, on November 1st. It will be Christmas music, like the other station, but it will feature special news reports that are just for elves.

Kringle Radio plays on several websites online. It gets listened to by all kinds of people, not just elves. It will continue where it plays now until about a week or so before Christmas. It will then be made more widely available to the public for free.

That’s because Santa wants North Pole Radio News available for the world for Tracking Santa Around the World, which is, of course, the North Pole Radio news team’s live broadcast coverage of Christmas Eve around the world. It’s a two day show, the biggest radio show of the year for the entire planet.

That show will ALSO be broadcast on Santa Tracker radio right here on this website…and on all of the official North Pole websites. Anyone in the world should be able to access it.

Everyone listens to this show. I listen to it. Every elf at the North Pole listens to it. Even Santa listens to it on Christmas Eve. It’s amazing. We have elves everywhere, include Elf Crash Murphy who follows behind Santa as he travels and he gives live radio reports the whole way.

All the news of Christmas Eve flows through SantaUpdate.com and the radio show from North Pole Radio News on Christmas Eve.

That’s how it works. Let me know if you have any questions.